Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises would be migrating away from their on- premise hosted data centers to cloud, as part of their Data Center (DC) Exit strategy. However, it is important to clearly define the right cloud strategy to accelerate cloud migration and the transformation journey.
CIOs from the Manufacturing industry are still quite hesitant to move their systems to cloud that manages factory operations on the shop floor (known as MES applications). This is down to the fact that these systems are tightly coupled with shop-floor systems. Additionally, the R&D wing would have concerns about moving their Engineering-specific workloads due to high-performance computing requirements in addition to security concerns. The following are the primary concerns for cloud adoption, as they may impact daily operations and overall business, affecting KPIs viz., high Impact on productivity, quality, performance, time to market, IP, and customer satisfaction.
Approach for Manufacturing Cloud
Most leading MES software providers have cloud-enabled offerings and cloud-hosted solutions by adopting microservices architecture and containerizing their applications. Very few providers offer SaaS-based MES applications. Hosting MES workloads on cloud infrastructure could result in significant cost benefits. However, integrating Cloud-MES applications with shop-floor systems remains a concern.
In the Engineering and PLM space, most software providers are already offering their software hosted on cloud. Cloud PLM significantly reduces the startup time required for new users, since there is no fresh implementation or installation required.
Hence, the approach for Cloud adoption in the manufacturing industry should consider the following:
Hence, the best approach for DC exit is to leverage different options available for cloud adoption for Manufacturing and Engineering specific workloads. In this competitive market, major cloud players are betting on buying out their client’s data-centers to support their DC Exit strategy and offer significant discounts to reduce the total cost of ownership. Migration of MES, Engineering, and PLM /PDM workloads would be more beneficial to manufacturers beyond cost savings such as:
Enterprises that are still anxious about the cloud migration of their manufacturing and engineering workloads, should consider an approach that is best suited to their needs, create a well-crafted cloud transformation journey, and execute their cloud migration to reap maximum benefits. This should help them accelerate their DC exit strategy and gain significant cost savings as well as support business agility and scalability requirements.
Lead Cloud Solutions Architect, Manufacturing Digital, MFG BU
Parthasarathy is a certified cloud solution architect and leads cloud enablement and transformation initiatives in the Americas, Europe, and APAC regions, for the manufacturing business. His responsibilities also include defining cloud solution architecture, thought leadership, and driving accelerated cloud business and transformation. Parthasarathy has over 25 years of experience demonstrating leadership and outstanding performance with large portfolios of customers across Asia, Europe, and North America.